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Why Princess Cut Diamonds are Not always Square


If you were to ask women “What’s the name of the square cut diamond?” 99.9% of all of them would answer “Princess cut.

Very good.

(Men’s answers would be all across the board “Princess cut” “Emerald cut” “Square cut“…) But women, women know their cuts of diamond (except that .01%)

Women know princess cuts are square.

No problem.

But are they right?

Not really.

(Sorry ladies.)

Princess cuts are not square.

If you look at a princess cut diamond, almost all of them have one side that’s longer than the other. They’re usually longer and more rectangular than they are square.

Granted, sometimes they are close enough in millimeter that you can’t tell, but check it out the next time you’re in a jewelry store, you’ll see.

They’re not square. Squarish…

Rectangular Princess Cut Diamond!Now this longer side could be only longer by a few millimeters, or it could be as obvious as double the length (looking more like a true rectangle – see image).

It all depends on the actual stone in question.

Every princess cut is different.

When princess cuts first came out in the 1980’s, it seems to me like they were all pretty square.

I’m sure they weren’t, I just didn’t notice them as much.

I do now.

I love princess cuts. Squares, rectangles, everything in between… Doesn’t matter, any flat shaped stone is fine by me.

Look at the diamond certificate:

A quick way to tell if a particular princess cut is actually square or not, would be to look at the diamond certificate (that’s assuming your princess cut is certified – which I’m hoping it is).

On a diamond report (this one being GIA certified), under the area titled “Shape and Cutting Style” you’ll see the princess cut listed not as “princess cut“, but actually as a “square modified brilliant“.

Which is very interesting indeed.

It’s not even called a “princess cut“. How awkward would it be to go into a jeweler and say “I’m looking for a square modified brilliant cut please“. They would just stare at you.

It would be pretty funny though.

Square modified brilliants:

Princess cuts are named “square modified brilliant” because they have the brilliance and cutting style of a brilliant cut diamond applied to a square cut (the name princess was given to this cut because it was developed by a man named Joseph Princess).

But the thing that I want you to look at the most on the diamond report is the measurements listed under measurements.

Here is where they’ll list the exact measurements of the stone.

For example:

Princess Cut Dimensions!

In this example, you see that the measurements of this princess cut diamond are 7.04 x 6.62 x 4.81 mm (4.81 is the depth of the stone). See, it’s not really square (square would be 7.04 x 7.04 mm).

So the real question is:

Why aren’t princess cuts square?

Here’s the answer…

It’s because princess cuts are a cutting style and not an actual shape.

(Even though it is listed under shape and cutting style – Go figure.)

The princess cut is defined by:

  • The 90 degree angled corners
  • The wide pavilion
  • The narrow crown
  • The narrow corners
  • The brilliance of light that reflects from the stone
  • The 4 pointed star in the center of the diamond

These things are all caused by the cutting style.


Below is a diagram of the actual facets (usually 50-58 facets) of a princess cut diamond. Do note that this diagram which appears on every diamond report is always square in shape no matter if your diamond is square or not. It just shows you what the cuts are supposed to be, not the actual proportions of your stone.

Princess Cut Diamond Diagram!

See the star?

Princess cuts are cool. Those stars makes princess cut diamonds stand out in a crowd.

The shape of the princess cut diamond can vary depending on how the diamond cutter cuts the rough rock. It’s all done to maximize profit. That’s why some diamonds appear square and others appear rectangular.

“Square!” NO “Rectangle!”

What’s funny about princess cuts is that women get so particular about them. Some women only want square ones. Others love the rectangular cuts and won’t look at anything else. No matter what though, princess cuts have made a huge leap in the square and rectangular category. They blew away both emerald cut diamonds and radiant cuts and left them all in the dust.

Princess cuts have come such a long way in such a short amount of time that they now reside in the #2 spot for favorite cut of diamond (brilliant being #1).

All in all, princess cuts look great. They have tons of sparkle, brilliance and fire. And they look huge for their carat weight (1 carat looks more like a 1.50 ct) Plus, women love them (what else would you get for your little princess?)

So the only question left is:

What’s your princess cut going to be?

Square or rectangle?

P.S. James Allen has some awesome diamonds at awesome prices. Check them out.

And, if you truly want to learn more about the princess cut, read about Ideal cut princess cut diamonds.

Now that’s cool.

Cheers! :)

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